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tenderness for the feelings and opinions of others. We may, however, venture to observe, that true wit has no more connexion with extravagant images, than the comedy of Terence, of Fontenelle, and occasionally of Molière, has with plays of character, in which simple avarice or extravagance are drawn, instead of the covetous, or the extravagant man; or with Spanish plots, which deceive a man through his senses, not through his passions and affections. The emotion of pleasure must be retained, as well as excited; the gratified feeling must be as inseparable from the idea which gave rise to it, when it is familiar, as when it was new. Notwithstanding what we have said on this point, we will still venture to quote one specimen of this part of the work, in which a favourite subject of all epigrammatists is well displayed.

AGATHIAS, 67. iii. 56.

On a Lawyer. M.
“ A plaintiff thus explained his cause
To counsel learned in the laws:
“My bondmaid lately ran away,
And in her flight was met by A,
Who, kpowing she belong'd to me,
Espous'd her to his servant B.
The issue of this marriage, pray,
Do they belong to me or A ?
The lawyer, true to his vocation,
Gave sign of deepest cogitation,
Look'd at a score of books, or near,
Then hemm’d, and said, “your case is clear.
Those children, so begot by B,
Upon your handinaid must, you see,
Be your's, or A's.--Now, this I say:
They can't be your's, if they to A
Belong--it follows then, of course,
That if they are not his, they're yours.
Therefore by my advice-in short,
You'll take the opinion of the court.” P. 451.

We are not much dissatisfied with the following observations prefixed to some “ extracts from the Grecian drama."

“ Notwithstanding the success with which Potter's faithful and ani. mated translations of the great fathers of the Grecian drama have deservedly been attended, it has always appeared to me that the true spirit of their poetry might be more nearly attained, by adopting the sonorous and majestic couplet, which Dry den wished to introduce on the English stage, in imitation of Corneille and Racine; and which, however un

suitable to the purpose of representing violent and sudden enotions, is peculiarly well adapted as the vehicle both of declamatory passion, and of pathetic sweetness.”

The extracts which follow are from the most touching and tender scenes of the Greek tragedy; the thoughts such as are most in unison with those domestic feelings which come home to every heart, and the classical allusions so natural and intelligible as not to be displeasing even to the English reader who seeks only for beauty of poetry, and has no additional source of gratification in meeting with a spirited version of his favourite passages; yet we should say that the attempt had decidedly failed, if the truth of the doctrine depended on the detached specimens before us. We must, however, make two exceptions; the first in favour of the translation of a chorus in the Alcestis of Euripides, the other the address of a daughter to her father, conjuring him to spare her life ; and both of singular beauty.

ADDRESS OF THE CHORUS TO ALCESTIS. M.

Daughter of Pelias! peaceful sleep
In Pluto's mansions cold and deep,

Where the bright sun can enter never !
And may the gloomy monarch know,
And he, the steersman old and slow,
By whom the ghosts are wasted o'er,
To that uncomfortable shore,

No spirit half so lovely ever,
Nor half so pure, his boat did take
On the dark bosom of the Stygian lake.
Thy name preserved in sweetest lays,
The sacred bards of future days
The seven-string'd lyre shall tune to thee,
Waking its mountain-melody;
Or in harmonious potes shall sing,
What time the rosy-bosom’d spring

Bedews with April showers
Fair Sparta's walls, and all the night,
The full moon pours her silver light

On Athens' heav'n-loved towers.

* O! could the power of verse recall
Thy ghost from Pluto's dreary hall,

And dark Cocytus' spectred wave!
O! could it bid thy spirit stray
Back to the cheerful light of day,

And break the darkness of the grave!

“ Most lov'd, most honour'd shade, farewell!

We know not what the gods below

Will measure out of bliss or wo;
Yet may thy gentle spirit dwell,
In those dark realms to which it fled,
Most blest among the peaceful dead!

“ Nor thou, afflicted husband, mourn That voy age whence is no return,

And which we all are doom'd to try: The gods' great offspring, battle-slain, 'Mid common heroes press the plain,

And undistinguish'd die.

“ But she who nobly died, to save
A husband from the cheerless grave,
Though seen no more by mortal eye,
Shines, a bright power, above the sky.
Hail, lovely light of Phera's vale!
Blest guardian of the wandering stranger, hail !—P. 243.

FROM THE IPHIGENIA IN AULIS OF EURIPIDES.

Iphigenia to Agamemnon.
“ Had I the voice of Orpheus, that my song
The unbending strength of rocks might lead along,
Melt the rude soul, and make the stubborn bow,
That voice might heaven inspire to aid me now.
But now, ungifted as I am, untaught
To pour the plaint of sorrow as I ought,
Tears, the last refuge of a suppliaut's prayer,
Tears yet are mine, and those I need not spare.
Father, to thee I bow, and low on earth
Clasp the dear knees of bim who gave me birth
Have mercy on my youth! O, think how sweet
To view the light, and glow with vital heat!
Let me not quit this che:rful scene, to brave
The dark uncertain horrors of the grave!
" I was the first on whom you fondly smiled,
And straining to your bosom, called, • My child!
Canst thou forget how on thy neck I hung,
And lisp'd, My father !' with an infant tongue ?
How 'midst the interchange of holy bliss,
The child's caresses, and the parent's kiss,
* And shall I see my daughter,' wouldst thou say,
• Blooming in charms among the fair and gay?
Of some illustrious youth the worthy bride,
The beauty of his palace and the pride?'

Perhaps,' I answer'd with a playful air,
"And dares my father hope admittance there,
Or think his
prosperous

child will e'er repay
His cares, and wipe the tears of age away.
Then, round that dearest neck I clung, which yet
I bathe in tears. I never can forget;
--But thou remember'st not how then I smiled
"I is vanish'd all--and thou wilt slay thy child.

O! slay me not! respect a mother's throes,
And spare

her age uputterable woes!
O, slay me not !--or---if it be decreed-..
(Great God avert it!) if thy child must bleed,
At least look on her, kiss her, let her have
Some record of her father in the grave!
O come, my brother! join with me in prayer!
List up thy little hands, and bid him spare!
Thou wouldst not lose thy sister! e'en in thee,
Poor child, exists some sense of nisery---
Look, father, look! his silence pleads for me.
We both entreat thee--- I with virgin fears,
He with the eloquence of infant tears.

O, what a dreadful thought it is to die!
To leave the freshness of this upper sky,
For the cold horrors of the funeral rite,
The land of ghosts and everlasting night!
O, slay me not! the weariest life that pain,
The fever of disgrace, the lengthen’d chain
of slavery, can impose on mortal breath,
Is real bliss 'to what we fear of death.' P. 264.

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Frequent use has been made of the stores of French literature lately opened to us. We suspect that Mr. Bland has a great predilection for the French wits. He seems to be familiar with the productions of Du Fresnoy, and Baraton, and Chardon, and Moncrif, and does not hesitate to avail himself of the iniscellaneous nature of the illustrations, by introducing them in an English dress, as often as any similitude of thought or subject allows. Two valuable recent publications have contributed whatever was wanting to make us thoroughly acquainted with the taste in writing and conversation which prevailed among the Parisian beaux esprits of the last century. The anonymous treatise De la Littérature Française pendant le 18me siècle, describes the result of their hours of seriousness and study; and Baron Grimm's more desultory work has supplied all that remained to be learned respecting their movements in private life, when no part was to be acted, ne VOL. III. Nen Series.

36

character to be kept up; in their jests and quarrels, in their

par ties and retirements.

“ Nam veræ voces tum demum pectore ab imo
Ejiciuntur, et eripitur persona, manet res."

From this source Mr. Bland has gleaned two or three happily expressed trifles which are not above the level of what we expected from the heartlessness and frivolity which characterized what was called la société of the French metropolis. The following are favourable specimens of the peculiar character of French sprightliness. The original of the portrait in the first is to be seen in every

circle of all societies.

Avoir l'esprit bas et vulgaire,
Manger, dormir, et oe rien faire,
Ne rien savoir, n'apprendre rien ;

C'est le paturel d'Isabelle,
Qui semble pour tout entretien,

Dire seulement--Je suis belle."

" To have a talent base and low,
To live in state of vegetation,
To eat, drink, nothing learn, nor know,
Such is the genius of Miss Kitty,
Who seems, for all her conversation,
To say-Look at me, I am pretty.” B. P. 174.

« Le premier jour du mois de Mai
Fut le plus heureux de ma vie ;
Le beau dessein que je formai
Le premier jour du mois de Mai.
Je vous vis, et je vous aimai.
Si ce dessein vous plut, Silvie,
Le premier jour du mois de Mai
Fut le plus heureux de ma vie."
“The morning of the first of May
To me was happier far than any;
I thought on that which made me gay,
The morning of the first of May.
I saw and loved thee on that day;
If what I thought on pleased thee, Fanny,
"The morning of the first of May
To me was happier far than any.” B. P. 376.

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